Carnegie Melon University Professor Randy Pausch struck a worldwide nerve a year-and-a-half ago. He was the featured speaker at the annual “Last Lecture” when he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Doctors gave him just months to live. The Last Lecture series was begun to give professors an opportunity to share those things they most wanted to communicate, as if it really were their last lecture. The poignant thing about Pausch, a very likeable and passionate man, was that this truly would be his last lecture. In a brief burst of strength Pausch delivered a lecture filled with humor and a zest for life and then died months later on September 18, 2008. Dr. Pausch and I share significantly different world views but do have some admiration for him.
Anyway, this whole Last Lecture series got me to thinking about the exact same thing for pastors and their congregations. What if once a year, or perhaps just once every two years every pastor would preach the message that they would give if they knew they only had one. This is the sermon I preached last Sunday that was just that. This hyperlink will to take you to the manuscript if you would like to read it and think about it. You can also listen to it by going to the front page of our website. I plan to do just such a sermon every year.